Our latest book, entitled Lakeville Crucifix, is now available from Amazon.
It’s local history about a subject area that has gone largely unstudied in the part of Northwestern Connecticut that was considered to have an iron industry that was second to none for much of the 19th century. A number of people have written thorough, careful, and fascinating books about the iron industry itself. But Lakeville Crucifix takes a different tack.
Basically, Lakeville Crucifix is about the people who made the iron industry function and how they interacted with each other when you add nativism, Irish immigration, changes in the Roman Catholic Church, vestiges of New England Puritanism, and electoral politics to the mix.
In 1882, the Roman Catholic priest in Lakeville erected a 12-foot crucifix on the lawn of his parish church. The following summer, the local Protestants, offended by this structure, petitioned him to remove the Lakeville Crucifix. His parishioners retaliated by boycotting the Protestant merchants, and the merchants retaliated for that by calling on the local iron magnate, William H. Barnum, who also happened to be the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, to ask him to fire all his Irish Catholic workmen. It also happened that an ally of the aggrieved merchants was a former Governor of Connecticut, Alexander H. Holley.
The story of the Lakeville Crucifix does NOT end there! The New York Times ran the story on page 1, it was covered in depth by the Hartford Courant, and the relatively new Associated Press spread the story all over the United States. And, the tensions continued to mount as the local ladies organized with the intent of firing all of their Irish Catholic household help. There are many other elements in the story, and we would be poor salespeople if we let all of the surprises out of the bag here.
At any rate, Lakeville Crucifix is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com, and we suggest that you have a look at it there.
Our newest book, Acronyms for Organizations, is now available in paperback and for the Kindle™ on the Amazon website.
To view it at Amazon.com, please click HERE!
You can also read more about it, and about our efforts in “real” publishing (you know — like books) and how it compliments our usual business of e-publishing, here’s the front cover!Close observers will note that we published an earlier book of initializations (or initialisms, if you prefer), acronyms, and abbreviations for organizations around four years ago, called “What Does That Stand For?” Around half the length, it was our initial experience in modern print publishing, and we learned from it. Many people spoke well of the earlier version, but it left us with the feeling that we had only skimmed the surface of what such a book really ought to contain. (You can read a little more about our own historical process HERE.)
So, we took what we had there, and began a systematic process of collecting acronyms for organizations (as well as abbreviations and initialisms, of course) for thousands of additional information. We discovered whole categories of abbreviations for organizations we had not considered — and we went into far greater depth with those we already had.
A little about the book — and it’s also available for Kindle:
Paperback edition: 562 pages, $23.99
Kindle edition: 598 pages, $13.99
(if you buy the paperback edition, you can also get the Kindle edition for a small additional charge).
In any case, please do have a look at the listing in the Amazon catalog — CLICK HERE to go directly to this listing.
More than a decade ago, Geoff Brown, the Principal Partner of Between the Lakes Group, was asked by the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area to conduct a Lime Rock Walking Tour. He repeated the tour by request a few years later.
Trinity Church in Lime Rock graciously hosted the tour and provided hospitality as well as access to their archives. Lime Rock Park provided a highly knowledgeable historian of the track to tell us a bit about that internationally known institution from an insider’s point of view. Many others helped in ways too numerous to mention.
But there was one problem. A number of people told us they would like to go on a Lime Rock Walking Tour, but they were not physically capable of walking the three miles that even a minimal tour would require. What could we do? The answer was soon in coming: we would prepare a Powerpoint slide show of the walking tour, and while those up to the walk could experience it in real life, those who could not would be able to watch the slide show in Trinity’s Walker Hall in comfort.
As we prepared the slide show, it quickly became clear that we would be able to put far more information about Lime Rock in the slide show than actual participants in the Lime Rock Walking Tour would actually get to see. We could include sights too distant to walk to. We could include historic photos and maps of features of Lime Rock that were no longer there. We could include concise summaries of things we would talk about on the walk. We could include photos of sights that still remain that are not accessible because they are on private property.
Ultimately, the slide show accompanying the Lime Rock Walking Tour became considerably more comprehensive and satisfying than the tour itself!
Subsequently, we decided to make the slide show of the Lime Rock Walking Tour available as a CD-ROM. We sold quite a number in that format, but when the time came to retire our CD business, the slide show became unavailable.
However, we recently resurrected the slide show and, realizing we could republish it as a PDF file, could include even more information and photos than the slideshow format permitted. For example, we could provide the old maps in a way that people could study them as long as they wanted. We were able to add considerable information that would have passed too quickly to be absorbed in a slide show. We could even improve on the original slide show by incorporating information unearthed since the slide show was created.
Coincidentally, we had two “real” books in the works. Research for our forthcoming “The Lakeville Crucifix” and “History of Trinity Lime Rock in Context” had turned up huge amounts of information that permitted an updating of the Lime Rock Walking Tour slide show that genuinely improved it.
This is all in the way of announcing that the new, enlarged and enhanced Lime Rock Walking Tour is now available as a download in PDF format. Now 141 pages long, we feel that it is something that belongs in the collection of any student of Lime Rock or the Town of Salisbury or the historic iron industry of the Upper Housatonic Valley.
More information and an opportunity to download the document are on our Lime Rock page. We encourage you to take a look! CLICK HERE to find out more about it!
Here’s one of the items we particularly like that appears in the Lime Rock Walking Tour:
These downloads are all in PDF format, permitting you all the latitude you get with this format, and none of the roadblocks many downloaded books, whether free or paid, put up in the way of the user. You can print individual pages, copy selections, and save the file wherever works best for you.
At any rate, this now completes the conversion of this CD-ROM to individual downloads, so we can begin to add new Rhode Island materials to the catalog.
While the links above will take you to the former contents of the CD-ROM, you may also want to take a look at our main Rhode Island page, and at our overall catalog.
We are happy to bring you the Kidwell family notebook and the history of Catholicity in Kentucky.
Well, these new Kentucky downloads are not new, really. The source material is old, because we republish old material that is out of print or, as in one case here, never previously published. It’s old in another sense because we used to offer it on a CD-ROM, back in the days when getting a CD-ROM in the mail was the modern way to get genealogical or historical information.
But as downloads, these two Kentucky items, the Kidwell Family Notebook and Kentucky Catholicity, are indeed new.
First off, there’s some extraordinary genealogy. We were very fortunate to inherit Stella Mulholland Bogner’s Kidwell family notebook. The intrepid Mrs. Bogner documented this large family from its origins in St. Mary’s County, Maryland and its migration to Kentucky as part of the Roman Catholic diaspora that followed the Revolutionary War. It’s first publication ever was on our discontinued CD-ROM, but continued requests made it essential that we make it available as a download. We’ve indexed it, and added a collection of Kidwells who appear in the 1850 US Census of Kentucky.
CLICK HERE to go to the page on our main website about the Kidwell family notebook.
Secondly, there’s the Hon. Ben. J. Webb’s “The Centenary of Catholicity in Kentucky” .
We’re not overstating the case when we say that this book is essential to understanding the migration of Maryland (and Virginia) Catholics to Kentucky in the years following the Revolutionary War, and in understanding the foundations of Roman Catholicism in Kentucky and the rest of the Midwest.
The copy of Catholicity in Kentucky that we scanned to produce this project is unique: it was owned by one I. A. Spalding — and we assume that the owner’s name was Ignatius A. Spalding. The footnote on page 109 of the book mentions three descendants of Benedict Spalding with this name. These were the Ignatius A. Spalding who married Ann Pottinger, and his son and grandson. One of these men — and we are not likely to ever know which one — annotated this particular copy of Catholicity in Kentucky, making a number of corrections and additions in names and places. All his annotations are legible in the scanned copy.
You can find this one available for free download elsewhere on the web, but we think that if you’re serious about this topic we’ve got some compelling reasons why you’ll want our download.
CLICK HERE to go to the page on our main website about Catholicity in Kentucky.
So, we invite you to learn more about the Kidwell Family and Kentucky Catholicity by going to this page about both.
Here’s a new Q&A (Question and Answer) we’ve written for our website. We thought it was important enough to publish on our blog as well. We invite your thoughts and comments!
Here’s the question:
You sell downloads of books that I can read for free online. Why should I pay you money to download a book I can read for free?
Here’s our answer:
Thanks for asking!
First off, there are many cases when you should definitely read the book as a free online rather than paying us (or someone else) for a download, or even buying a printed book! Here are a few examples:
—Is the book historical fiction about the area you’re interested in? Then, definitely read the freebie. Likely you’re reading it for pleasure, but even if you’re reading it in connection with an area you’re interested in, you’re most likely looking for a sense of what things were like back then in that locale, and there’s nothing like good historical fiction to give you that sense.
—Are you a little unsure whether the book is actually going to contain useful information? There are plenty of examples of this, but here’s one: you spot a genealogy with the same surname you’re seeking – but it’s not a particularly rare name. Use the free download to confirm it.
—Is your interest in this particularly area not quite focused yet? Here’s an example: many families migrated westward in steps; one generation in one locale, and the next a few hundred miles west. If you can find local history material that you can download for free about the locales where they stopped (and also where they passed through but didn’t settle) you can pick up a lot of information at no cost.
So, then, why should I buy a download instead of (or in addition to) using a freebie? Well, here are some factors to consider:
–Perhaps we’re offering something more than just the book itself. For example, perhaps we indexed the book we republished. The originals lacked an index, and we new one would add value, so we compiled one. Indexes can be terribly useful.
–Some free (and some paid) downloads offer a PDF search. You key in the term you’re after, and you’re presented with 100% matches. Well, we don’t care for PDF searches, because they’re too sensitive to seemingly inconsequential differences. They tend not to realize that “M’Cutcheon” is the same as “McCutcheon” or that Hodgkin, Hodke, Hotchkiss, Hotchkin, Hodkins, Hotchkins, Hochkin, and a variety of others are all the same family in different places at different times. PDF search for “Hotchkin” and you won’t get matches on “Hochkin” and vice versa. With an index to check, you’ve got a fighting chance of picking up those minor differences. And, with a PDF search, such a minor daily occurrence in old time print shops as a damaged letter being used in setting a paragraph of type can result in a missed match.
–If you happen to be downloading files on your phone or your iPad, or somewhere else where you’re subject to a data plan, downloading the same file repeatedly can chew up your monthly data allocation pretty rapidly.
–Depending on where you download your free download from, there may be difficulties in copying or printing selections from the download. In most cases these are designed to be difficult to copy. We design our downloads so you can copy or print just as much of it as you want.
–This is a big one, particularly if you’re planning on publishing your work and need accurate footnotes or bibliographic citations – or if you’re applying to a hereditary society and need to be able to direct the genealogist to the specific mention in a larger book. Most e-books, and many other publishing forms used for online books for download do not retain page numbers. (Some, of course, do.) Our downloads are page images, including not only original page numbers but even marginal doodling (or notes someone may have made in the copy we scanned).
–Realistically, people don’t expect ultra high quality images in downloads. After all, you’re unlikely to want to frame an image from a download and hang it on the wall! However, it is worth noting that the image quality in most free downloads is pretty bad. Sufficiently so that it can be hard to tell what a person looks like. Ours are not gallery quality, but we think they’re pretty good representations of what’s in the book. Also, if you’ve looked at many free downloads, you’ll notice occasionally a page gets folded over in the scanning process. What you see is what you get. Because we hand-scan all of our material, you simply don’t have that problem with our downloads.
–In our day of government austerity, when state and Federal budget shortfalls seem to be covered by cuts in museums, libraries, archives, and that sort of thing, it’s not hard to imagine that given a choice between paying the staff and keeping a set of free downloads available online, the free downloads are apt to go first. Remember that no matter who provides it, it does cost someone money to provide downloads, whether free or not. Once you’ve purchased one of our downloads, you own it and you can access it whenever you want.
It’s always a good idea to see if you can save a little money on incidental purchases, so by all means do check to see if you can locate a free download of a book or other document you want to read. But please consider what trade-off you’re making.
By the way, we’ve recently republished an important book about the history of the settlement of western New York State as a download (previously we sold it as a CD-ROM). It’s Hotchkin’s History of Western New York. It’s pretty good! Have a look!
Back in August we made the momentous “CD closeout” decision — that we would discontinue selling our historical and genealogical CD-ROMs, and gradually migrate the contents of our CDs to downloads.
Well, it’s been happening! We’ve eliminated around a dozen of our CDs as the inventory sold out, and we’re making progress migrating their contents to download format.
There have been three positive results of the CD closeout so far:
–A number of smaller, less significant publications that were once lurking on CDs with little publicity are now available as individual downloads — with their own catalog entries. People can actually find them! Eventually they may even show up on Google!
–We’ve saved time and money. When you deal with physical inventory — creating the CDs, reproducing them, maintaining the inventory, and shipping them — you spend more time, effort, and money than one would think. The net result is that we have more time to spend finding more historical and genealogical material and making it available to you.
–Our customers have saved time, money, and helped avoid clutter. Saved money? Yes! When we discontinued our Canaan, CT CD ($20) we replaced it with three downloads. If you bought all three, you would barely spend half that. And we doubt many people will buy all three. The clutter speaks for itself — we never devised a perfect way for storing CDs of our own so we could find things when we needed them, and it’s easy to store downloads on your hard drive. And time: we figure that it costs us two or three minutes each time we need to put a CD in and wait for it to crank up, and then to go through it to find what we want, and we suspect it was wasting your time too. Furthermore, downloads arrive instantaneously. CDs come by postal mail. Enough said about that!
We do have some CDs left in inventory. We’ll continue to sell them until they’re gone. Here’s what left:
If one of these matches your research interests, we do advise you to act now. Once the CDs are gone, the material on them goes into the queue awaiting republication as downloads. There, they vie for priority with the new material we’re working our way through, so it could be a year or more before material on a discontinued CD is again available. A word to the wise should be sufficient!
As always, thanks to our faithful customers. It’s you whom we do this for, and even as the CD closeout continues, it’s your needs we try to satisfy. We try never to forget that.